WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT OXFORD, THE CITY OF THE DREAMING SPIRES
Discover Oxford, one of Britain’s most historical and beautiful cities, on this tour. See one of the oldest and most renowned universities in the world and be fascinated by its impressive architecture.
Oxford, just 1h north of London is for many visitors their daytrip of choice when venturing outside the capital on their London vacation. Those who go regret this decision almost instantly as there is so much to do and to see in Oxford. Therefore, it’s well worth spending a couple of nights there. A perfect extension to your FIRST TIME IN LONDON? – ATO Tours – Where To Go (ato-tours.com).
Oxford Walking Tour
First, Oxford is very walkable and easy to discover on foot. So, a centrally located accommodation is key for a great weekend break. ATO Tours recommends the Boutique Hotel in Oxford | Malmaison Oxford. A fine and unique hotel housed in a former prison and something out of the ordinary. Book your stay with us from as little of £59 per person here (email@example.com).
After settling down start your first walking tour and head to Oxford Castle & Prison (oxfordcastleandprison.co.uk) right opposite of the hotel. More than 1000 years old, Oxford starts here. Climb the tower for some iconic views of the spires, descend into the crypt where the legend of King Arthur is set to be written and explore their 18th century prison ward. A great way to start your Oxford walking tour.
Oxford university consists of more than 38 different colleges and the Home | Bodleian Libraries (ox.ac.uk) is their main research centre. It’s huge, and as it’s one of the oldest libraries in the world with a stunning architecture, well worth a visit. Book a guided tour to see the seemingly untouched reading rooms from the 13th century and see a free exhibition in the Weston Wing. And it’s magic to which we will come later…
Oxford’s friendly and pleasant atmosphere catches you right away. Stroll around the atmospheric lanes and alleys. Be captivated by the atmosphere on the tree lined Gloucester Green Market square with its many pubs and restaurants. Catch the vibrant buzz coming from its many independent traders on this spot.
Tuck in some culinary delights at the Covered Market hall and try some of the deliciously locally produced food for a quick lunch. But watch out, there are over 50 market stalls, so you will be hard pushed what to choose from.
On a sunny day relax in the Port Meadow, a beautiful scenic spot ideal for a family picknick. Or visit the historic Home | Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum, Britain’s oldest botanic garden.
Go punting and discover the city from a unique perspective. Hire a punter, saving you the graft, at Home – Magdalen Bridge Boathouse (oxfordpunting.co.uk) and tuck along the river Cherwell. Book early as it does get busy in summer. Get a real Venice-style feel on these wooden longboats. Travel slowly against the spectacular back drop of the historical buildings. What a perfect way to end your first day of your Oxford tour.
Visit the historic Christchurch college on your next day. Founded in 1546 you will feel like you took a step back in time. Explore their magnificent reading and assembly rooms on a guided tour. Book your tickets here: Visit Us | Christ Church, Oxford University. A fascinating and must visit sightseeing hotspot on every Oxford tour.
Wandering around Oxford’s historical city centre Harry Potter fans have this constant “Where have I seen this?” feeling. And you are right. Many of the films feature Oxford’s historical sites and we recommend including these on your tour in Oxford rather than doing a special Harry Potter walking tour. Most notably are the Home | Bodleian Libraries (ox.ac.uk), Christ Church, Oxford University and the Homepage | New College (ox.ac.uk). The connection to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry is obvious. You can almost see Harry and Hermione tucking away their schoolbooks and heading for lunch to the Great Hall. And keep your eyes open, you can discover more backdrops of iconic Harry Potter films on your Oxford tour.
Prepare yourself for the next stop which might be a bit of a culture shock. From peaceful, relaxed Oxford to shopping frenzy in buzzing Bicester. The Designer Outlet Shopping in Oxfordshire • Bicester Village (tbvsc.com) is one of England’s most visited luxury designer outlet centres is a paradise for bargain hunters and fashionistas from all over the world. A whopping 7 million (!) shoppers headed for the more than 160 retail outlets pre Covid making it the outlet with the highest density of shops in the world. Get there by train from Oxford station. Trains are frequent, take around 15min and tickets cost £3.50.
Nestled on the fringes of the never-ending rolling Cotswolds hills and only around 20min away from Oxford is one of Britain’s most spectacular palaces, Blenheim Palace: World Heritage Site. It is a massive understatement to describe it as a merely country house and residence. No, Blenheim, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, is a spectacular palace set in a gloriously romantic landscape. A 300-year-old residence and a World Heritage which should have a set place on every Oxford tour.
End your tailor-made Oxford tour in the many historic pubs in the city centre and let the impressions sink in over a beautifully crafted Ale. And if you feel like extending your stay, then book one of our Classic Tours & Holidays in the Cotswold | ATO Tours (ato-tours.com). Oxford poses the perfect gate to England’s number 1 beauty spot.
Like what you read so far, then get in touch here (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let us tailor your Oxford for you.
See you in Oxford!